independent

Saturday 21 September 2019

2016 was a memorably awful year: Here's hoping 2017 is better

Donald Trump's election was one of many troubling moments in 2016
Donald Trump's election was one of many troubling moments in 2016

By David Looby

WISDOM is something which is supposed to develop in us, year on year, as we spin out towards the inevitable.

Grasping the finite light of the moment. Appreciating our temporality. Shedding the impulsiveness of youth. These are all things that are supposed to happen as we grow older.

2016 has been a year in which I have gained wisdom, albeit through bloody emotional brutality.

Some years the path of life runs smooth. Other years you feel like Leonardo di Caprio's character in The Revenant, hunted, mauled, emotionally scarred, fighting for your life.

There is an expectation on columnists to spew forth every detail of their life, but don't worry, I ain't going there, but needless to say I have had a rotten 2016 and I hope yours was a hell of a lot better. As I reach for a positive, (being a positive person by nature), at least the year was consistent, beginning disastrously and ending disastrously, (upcoming trip to Edinburgh for New Year's excepting). But, rather than let myself be defined by an event, or a series of unfortunate events, I will forge forward, stubbornly, idiotically, maybe, but yes forward I will go. Wide eyed and wildly hoping for the best because in this earth, in this galaxy and in this universe governed by absolutely incredible and powerful forces, who am I to think I can control anything other than my bank balance, which is also out of control.

As I was driving past a local funeral home the other day I saw a delivery of coffins being unloaded from the back of a truck. It put things in perspective in a head which was groaning under the weight and stress of must-get Christmas stuff, parental duties, planning for relatives arriving and other dross. I have learned a few valuable insights into myself in 2016, one of which being that I have been trundling through life thoughtlessly for many years. On the upside that leaves major room for improvement! I've also learned that I need to stop myself obsessing with social media, with its cyberbole soundbites. No Twitter, this is not the best Elvis cover version I've ever heard.

I've learned that I've been relying far too much on dopamine hits from Facebook likes and comments when in reality I haven't been picking up the phone enough to chat with friends and family.

I've learned that work, as important as it is, is a means to an end, which is the two healthy, beautiful children I am lucky enough to spend my time with.

I've also learned the importance of not rushing, something The Significant Other and I struggle with, turning into running powder kegs around the house in the mornings, bumping into each other on our incendiary paths to the front door to get to our respective cars and to drive to work. Rushing leads to mistakes like forgetting to properly dress your children, and to losing one's mind looking for car keys which are hanging on the back of the door just where you put them moments beforehand.

Basically, I've learned that we're all stressed and we all don't know what's around the corner so let's be silly, mad, kind, caring, and let's smile more at one another.

Happy 2017!

Wexford People